Post-Christmas pressure at Ipswich and West Suffolk hospitals

Ipswich Hospital is suffering pressures on beds as winter approaches

The Acting Chief Executive of the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust said they have seen an increase in Covid-19 positive patients over the Christmas period - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown/Archant

Both Ipswich and Colchester hospitals have seen an increase in the number of patients with coronavirus over the Christmas period, with West Suffolk Hospital warning of a "high patient demand in January".

Over the Christmas period West Suffolk Hospital saw 152 patients attend their accident and emergency department on Christmas Day, 213 on Boxing Day, 267 on December 27 and 255 on December 28. 

West Suffolk Hospital A&E.

152 patients attended West Suffolk Hospital A&E department on Christmas Day 2021 - Credit: Archant

West Suffolk Hospital 

A spokesperson for the West Suffolk Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: "Like many trusts we are  experiencing high patient demand at this time, and expect this to carry on into January.

"Our staff are working very hard to ensure everyone who comes through our doors is cared for and supported in the best way possible."

They added: "In the run up to the new year, you can help our staff be there for those patients who need them most by getting your Covid and flu jabs if you are eligible, and by using the free, 24/7 NHS 111 online or phone service for urgent health issues.” 

Visiting is currently not allowed for the majority of patients at West Suffolk Hospital - with the trust confirming the rules will be reassessed again on January 5, 2022.

Full details of the visiting restrictions at West Suffolk Hospital can be found on their website - 

Neill Moloney, managing director and deputy chief executive at Ipswich Hospital. Picture: ANDY ABBOT

Neill Moloney, Acting Chief Executive of East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) said all the staff at Ipswich and Colchester Hospital have worked “very hard over Christmas” - Credit: Archant

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Ipswich and Colchester Hospitals 

Neill Moloney, Acting Chief Executive of the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT), which runs Ipswich and Colchester Hospital, said: “All our staff worked very hard over Christmas to deliver high quality care to all of our patients both in hospital and in the community across East Suffolk and North Essex.  

“We have seen an increase in the numbers of Covid-19 positive patients as the prevalence in the community continues to increase.” 

In the run up to New Year’s Eve celebrations at the weekend Mr Moloney said: “Keeping one another safe by getting your Covid-19 vaccinations, wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and taking a lateral flow test before going to crowded places is the best New Year gift we can give to each other this year.”  

When the latest hospital admission figures were released on December 21 – ESNEFT was caring for 63 patients with coronavirus.  

He added: “Our visiting restrictions have not changed but are reviewed frequently.”  

Currently patients at Ipswich and Colchester hospital can have one visitor for one hour a day after they have been in hospital for 24 hours.  

Visiting rules differ for certain wards including maternity, the children’s ward and critical care.  

Full information regarding visitors can be found on the ESNEFT website -  

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